Oak Mountain wins Mortimer Jordan tourney

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

KIMBERLY – After falling to Pelham on the road to start their 2017 campaign, the Oak Mountain Eagles traveled to Mortimer Jordan High School during the week of Thanksgiving for the Jeff Dennis Jewelers Invitational, where they won three consecutive games to take home the 2017 championship.

The tournament started with two straight wins, a 74-52 thumping of Locust Fort and a low-scoring 42-29 victory over Gardendale. Those two wins through rounds one and two set up a championship game with host Mortimer Jordan on Thursday, Nov. 21.

The Eagles (3-1) staved off Mortimer Jordan down the stretch of the fourth quarter to pick up that third consecutive win, 54-44, over the Blue Devils thanks in large part to a combined 37 points from juniors Chris Mayweather and Drew Dun.

The fireworks started immediately in the championship game as Drew Dunn came out and sunk a 3-pointer on the Eagles’ first possession of the game, but Mortimer Jordan answered right back on its ensuing possession.

That was the start of a quarter that featured 35 combined points between the two teams, 22 of which came by way of Oak Mountain.

After the 3-3 tie to start the game, the Eagles went on a 12-4 run to take a solid 15-7 lead over the host team.

At the end of the first period, Oak Mountain had close to a double-digit lead at 22-13 thanks to 13-first quarter points by Dunn, who was unconscious shooting the ball, not missing a single field goal.

The second quarter couldn’t have been much different as the two teams went from a combined 35 points to a combined 15.

Mortimer Jordan outscored the Eagles 9-6 in the quarter behind a much stronger defensive effort. The Blue Devils were able to lock down Dunn as Chris Mayweather and Nathan Jones were the only two players to score for Oak Mountain in the quarter.

After the two opposite quarters came to a close, the Eagles held which a 28-22 lead at the half.

That defensive effort somewhat continued after the halftime break, but more so in the favor of Oak Mountain as the Eagles came out strong on both ends of the floor.

Behind some strong play from Mayweather in the quarter and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Blake Hollingsworth, the Eagles were able to outscore Mortimer Jordan 12-4 in the third quarter to take a 14-point 40-26 lead into the final quarter of play.

Oak Mountain led by as many as 10 with less than four minutes remaining, but Mortimer Jordan wasn’t going away quietly.

After a 3-pointer from the Blue Devils, they had battled to within six points of the Eagles with just less than two minutes remaining in the game.

Oak Mountain was able to knock down its free throws over the final 1:30 of play before Mayweather added a layup at the end to win the 2017 Jeff Dennis Jewelers Invitational by a final score of 54-44.

Despite being held scoreless in the second quarter, Dunn led the Eagles with 23 points. Mayweather came on strong scoring 12 of his 14 from the second quarter on to give the Eagles two double-digit scorers.

Mortimer Jordan was led by Trevor Chander with 17 points thanks to five 3-pointers.